Launched in 2005, the ISO 22000 is already one of the best recognized international food safety standards. It provides for food safety management systems for any organization, regardless of size, involved in any aspect of the food chain. To meet the standard an organization must demonstrate its ability to effectively control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption. It incorporates the HACCP principles outlined above.
Prior to the ISO standard, the BRC (British Rail Consortium) Global Standard for Food Safetywas established and is trusted by leading global retailers to deliver effective supply chain management and legal compliance. The Global Standard is part of a group of product safety standards, together enabling certification of the entire food supply chain, and was the first standard in the world to be approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI).
Formerly called EurepGAP, GLOBALGAP sets voluntary ‘pre-farm-gate’ standards for the certification of agricultural products and Good Agricultural Practices. Standards are awarded by approved third party certification bodies in over 75 countries. GLOBALGAP is a business-to-business label and is therefore not directly relevant to consumers.
Other leading standards, more on the ethical side of food production, are the US based Food Alliance Certification and SQF Certification. Food Alliance Certification is given to North American sustainable food products that cover issues such as the humane treatment of animals and the exclusion of hormones, non-therapeutic antibiotics, GM crops or livestock and certain pesticides as well as soil and water protection at farm/ranch level.
SQF (Safe Quality Food) Certification is awarded by licensed certifiers globally and provides independent certification that a supplier’s food safety and quality management system complies with international and domestic food safety regulations. SQF certifications have been awarded to thousands of companies operating in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America.